tv [untitled] April 23, 2012 7:30am-8:00am PDT
i do my best. i always have that in mind. i do my best when i expand upon what the problems are in the industry. to be clear to comment that is not one of them. supervisor avalos: thank you -- supervisor campos: thank you. supervisor kim: think you. we're discussing one of the main priorities of our offices, pedestrian safety. particularly for our safe -- seniors. and the most vulnerable pedestrians. how would you improve the record in san francisco? >> i am glad you asked that question. a lot of people when they hear that i am on the board of muni or in a parking and traffic director, they might think, pedestrians are not in your jurisdiction. that is absolutely not the case.
we have taken a lot of measures since i have been a director to improve pedestrian safety. and things that we do with respect to many traffic, regular traffic and parking have very significant effects on pedestrian safety. my answer to you and i think the staff has been very good about this is we need to continue planning for pedestrian safety improvements and with considerations in all the developments and the changes we carry out, whether they be new bike lanes or new traffic lanes or new muni programs. the other thing we need to do is simply to use our bully pulpit and specific project designed to continue reminding that community this is an issue that affects everyone. everyone at some point is crossing the street. children and elderly people are more vulnerable when they do so. people tend to focus on bigger items like st. redesign or central subway projects and those are offering an opportunity in policy and with a
bully pulpit to remind san franciscans pedestrian safety is something that affects all bus and is part of the overall transportation network. supervisor kim: thank you. my second question is around, how do you include meaningful public participation? representing an incredibly diverse constituency in san francisco, from seniors to low- income families to our disabled. how do you -- what is your process in terms of including that in your decision making process? >> the tail and is lots of public comment but it goes beyond public comment, of course. our agency and our board, i cannot take credit for this but certainly support the notion that when we undergo these projects, we are engaging in
town hall meetings, and outreach before any of this happens. i would point to the atp as one specific example. -- tep as one specific example. we have made changes that affect people's lives on a daily basis. through that process, you have heard a couple of stray comments i did not know about -- i did not know about this. it was hard to not know what was going on. i was sure as a director to complement the stack -- staff and tell the staff, as frustrating or slowing as it may become a process is important and out of that process, we were not only able to educate people and bring them on board with the changes but we really learned some things. i would say that tep provides a good example of how he -- we have made efforts to go out and communicate to people what is going on. in this most recent budget cycle, to take a very
controversial issue, we had a chance to talk with members of the business community about the impact that sunday parking enforcement would have. i know i talked to several business leaders around the areas where my wife and i shop and go out to eat. those meetings had an effect. business leaders understood parking turning over would help their business. it did not come as a complete surprise. it is not -- going into effect until january. this was a good opportunity to reach out and explain not only -- what we were doing but why. supervisor kim: thank you. i see no further questions from committee. we will open it up for public comment and we have a number of cards and item number four. i will call you up. we have have brad -- and
christopher, and other speakers. >> i am a cabdriver and a permit holder for seven years. i would like to think i am speaking for thousands of people who are not here. that would be the many thousands of cabdrivers who join me in vigorously opposing the renomination of mr. heinicke. he has been in my mind the most divisive force in the cab world since he arrived. he talks about the outrage that has been done, the town hall meetings, they're mostly window dressing. we have expressed ourselves many times and have had the media turn around to see our input dismissed. my main thing right now is,
imagine a situation with is the governing bodies of darfur or south africa toward china that divided their population into half and they get one half of the goodies and -- sick pay, retirement, health, city- guaranteed or government -- darrent -- the government- guaranteed paychecks. the other half got nothing. they were expected to pay for the benefits and paychecks of the other group. that is what we have at the mta. they have 10 dozen workers under their umbrella and what is being -- 10,000 workers under their umbrella and what is being proposed is to have 5000 of us, the cab drivers, pay $15 million or $20 million every year to get money from the cab industry to pay for the benefits and the
paychecks of the other people under the mta's umbrella. it is completely unacceptable. i wish i had more time. there are a lot of people who are afraid of this man and you cannot go to a meeting where you do not hear, we cannot do that. malcolm heinicke will do this or that. supervisor kim: thank you. >> good afternoon. i am a cabdriver and medallion holder and soon i will have my 23rd anniversary as a professional behind the wheel in san francisco. malcolm heinicke is an architect who is [unintelligible] and its functioning. his presence on the board has left a very bad relationship between the cab drivers and the city. a protest his reappointment. it is a conflict of interest for the mta to pursue policies that involve the city and taxicab businesses. it is not in the city's interest to do that. the city attorney's office has received a letter pointing out
the conflict of interest and the legal liability that the board is ignoring, thanks to heinicke. we know that office does not have a facile reply to that letter. on the subject of town hall meetings, it is ludicrous that man can say town hall meetings are doing any good. they're being flagrantly ignored. on a 24-or bases, -- our bases, meetings were completely ignored. the mta board has reminded repeatedly that it is in a conflict of interest. that is bald faced political incest. the city cannot be incentivized to start and stop. it is beyond the proposition a mandate. requiring performance of the duties of the taxi commission is dissolved. it sets the city of for unfavorable attention and
liability in the event of problems. i am not saying he is a bad man because he is a union buster. he was appointed to the taxi commission and reappointed to the board because of his legal background in union busting. what i am here to convince you about is his presence is counterproductive, even if you want union busting. management resist wage increases but heinicke politicized the review even after we waited eight years for an increase. this sort of politics makes the city into management. if you will -- allow that, you will regret it. >> thank you. on the question of service, some of us have been crying in the wilderness for 20 years for improvedment and direct
electronic access. the mta has done nothing in this direction. let me take you back to 2009 when the m.t.a. was about to take over taxing regulation from the taxi commission. many of us were concerned that we would be targeted as an easy source of revenue for the agency. i recall the day when gavin newsom said -- came before the board to address those concerns. he said the taxi industry will not be a cash cow for the mta. meet farmer brown over here. malcolm heinicke has been proposing and supporting ways of milking the taxi drivers for city purposes. as an mta director, he and his agency have the tools to do this. he is the living embodiment of a conflict of interest between the regulatory responsibilities and its revenue generating powers.
without knowing his exact role, it is safe to say that mr. heinicke is a godfather of mta staff's current proposal to lease one-third of taxing medallions to cap companies, cutting off 500 drivers from this one path forward in their lives. is the san francisco where a proposed city policy would exploit low-income workers without benefits, without bargaining power, for the benefit of the city itself? you have very little influence over the mta, but here is an opportunity to send them a clear message. denied this appointment and stand up for what is right. thank you. supervisor campos: thank you -- supervisor kim: thank you. >> i am dean clark and i am here in support for the reprimand of malcolm heinicke. there is one reason as to why i am. actually, several.
as you know, i've sent e-mails to you telling you about an accident i had, i drove a taxi in san francisco for approximately seven years. i got into a horrific accidents. and while -- when we have the town hall meetings, i've brought of these issues about uninsured motorist coverage is. how about make sure the drivers are covered? under the current with the taxi companies, the medallion system, none -- is happening for some of the cab companies but my company i was working for, there was no protections there. in addition to that, under the current system, i experienced property damage, assaults on my person, threats, i get ripped off from tipping, tipping the dispatchers, and deposits. the property damage and the assaults on my person and threats came out once they discovered i was gay.
some -- it is uncalled for. when the mta got involved with the taxi industry, i thought someone could listen to these concerns. today standing here, some of these other guys who are hot p istols out here, they -- where are they supporting us? i have faith that the mta will help correct these situations and break up this corrected taxi industry as we have today. thank you. supervisor kim: thank you. >> thank you for having me here. my name is edwin santiago. i am a medallion holder. i have been the driver in san francisco for over 30 years. i am opposed to malcolm heinicke's reappointment based
on the track record. it is my opinion. first, proposition k was created to keep corporate medallions from happening. right now, the sfmta is in a way trying to talk about adding 500 cabs on the street and creating another form of corporate medallions to be leased to the cab companies. these medallions go to the drivers on the list. i know proposition a was created this election year and most of the voters who voted had no idea it would overturn prop k. i think the cab industry is becoming a cash cow for the sfmta. the more important issues out
there are health benefits, illegal flow activity in san francisco, which is running rampant, and there is a lot of issues that go along those types of lines right there. as i said before, it is a big cash cow for the city of san francisco. it is only to bail out the muni and they should [unintelligible] thank you. supervisor kim: thank you. >> i was wondering if you could read what i have submitted. wsupervisor kim: we have a copy. we will read this letter. >> that should be done before
voting for his reelection. these are are -- abuse of power that has been done. you need to verify these, the laws that has been broken. he has been in the taxi commission before and he has done nothing about the industry. you saw the illegal limos and the public crying poor enough transportation. then he moved to sfmta. it is the same old same old. is all empty promises and breaking the law after law. there should be some regulatory body looking at all these abuses and see if it is [unintelligible] or not. if you approve him for the election, all these crimes would
go on red, and notice. please make an educated guess. read and confirm if these are valued or not. supervisor kim: thank you. thank you for submitting this letter. i have one more card. dave schneider. please line of if you have public comment on this item. >> good afternoon. for purposes of identification, i am the co-founder of utw but i am not an active member. i have to pay the dues. i am a lawyer by background and a journalist. i have had the chance to observe the sfmta both in person and quite frequently, by watching the proceedings on sftv. i have to say, i may be wrong.
i would not support the confirmation of the appointment of mr. heinicke to serve another term. for one thing, are there any term limits around here? he has hopped over to the sfmta. enough to question that. on terms of policy, i think that what is is he has lost confidence of all lot of the cab driver community. while he has great rhetoric, great personal rhetoric, what is the record of accomplishment progressivism? i do not see it. it could be me. i also feel that has been employed by munger and olson as
an employer lawyer raises certain questions about him -- treatment of employees. that is a big concern for me. at this point, i will stop here. i could be wrong. but i do not think his reappointment is in the benefit of the public interest. thank you. supervisor kim: thank you. there is a term limit of three terms on the mta board of directors. >> i am a taxi driver 10 years and i am the -- am on the taxi advisory council. last year he did respond to some of the complaints, the demands from the cab drivers regarding the 5% credit-card fees and some of the other issues. he did call for town hall
meetings and acknowledged the 5% fees are too high. i do not think we should pay any credit card fees but there is a lot of -- anyway. there is that. i will say that about heinicke. but i will also say that there is the problem the mta thinks the taxi industry is a cash cow and i will disagree with the idea of the public does not complain about the taxi drivers. the public does complain. they complain about rude drivers, not be able to pay with credit card. what i would have to say about that is that does not show anybody that cabdrivers in general are road or on reasonable people. in my view with 10 years of experience in the industry, it reflects the poor working conditions that are in the taxi industry. the biggest problem you have
with the taxi industry being a cash cow for the mta, we're to subsidize the mta and none of that revenue the city is getting is being reinvested back into our business. to improve working conditions for drivers. that is my biggest disagreement. it may be heard about this idea for one-third directly -- direct lease medallions. that would be the second proposal that has drawn a lot of protests from cabdrivers. it goes for the way it is drafted, it probably will draw more protests. it has potential but not the way it is now. supervisor kim: thank you. i want to recognize one of our other mta directors is a here as well. >> i am in support of the april employment. he is a valuable part of our board and i appreciate not only his legal knowledge but his graciousness to his fellow directors.
the mta staff, and the public. also has great dedication to all forms of transportation in this city which he has shown by truly living as a muni writer. -- rider. we have a variety of opinions and different levels of expertise and knowledge. and a willingness to work together and listen and learn. we do that to reach decisions we feel our best for the agency and for the city. what makes an effective board is that willingness to listen from each other and learn from the public and the decision. >> with your support, i look forward to continuing to work with malcolm on the board. supervisor kim: thank you, director brinkman. >> good afternoon, committee members. how i am speaking in support of
director heinicke. particularly in the southeast sector of the city, with support him for two reasons. the first of which is support for equitable access to transportation and support for workers. he has demonstrated and expressed support for low-income you for having access. as he has stated repeatedly, he gets it. he is the father of three young children that ride, and i'd go than to the aspect as well, trying to figure out how we can have ease of access and implementation with long-term sustainable funding, featuring the best they can be. under his leadership, the mta has surpassed its local higher
goal in the last year. in a survey done, the mta recorded 57% local higher, ensuring we put local residents to work on publicly funded construction projects. he has ensured under his leadership that we could have equitable access to jobs. there is a future point that we would love to work with the director on, in regard to federally funded construction projects. there of been positive indications by the obama administration in that regard. at the end of the day, we can move the board of directors and we proudly support the director for the reappointment. >> good afternoon.
♪ rules committe girls and guys, no taxi commission lasts forever ♪ ♪ let malcolm hang on we are dust in the wind. all we are is bust dust in the wind ♪ ♪ allw e are i we are is mta but in the wind, let malcolm back in ♪ [applause] supervisor kim: thank you, mr. paulson. seeing none, public comment is closed. before we decide on the motion,
i have a question regarding local higher. on the joint powers authority which and the director, i have appreciate his incredibly strong commitment to local hiring, and i know we of talked a lot about how to give greater flexibility from the federal government on construction projects. >> i am very appreciative of the gentleman for coming down, this is an area where i know a little bit of something from my days in the human rights commission and no the importance of the city and the hiring efforts here. i am also well aware of the contract in power that we have any responsibility have to the city that funds us. what will probably comes as a shock to my wife, i am not an expert on this issue. i will readily admit that, i am
supportive of the local hiring efforts. i pay attention to them when we hear about them on the central subway project that is turning to be one of our best project for leveraging local hiring. i think the honest answer is that it is the extent of my knowledge. i am aware of the fat and happy with the fact that the director is up to speed on this issue, and i look forward to working with him on that. supervisor campos: i want to thank everyone that spoke. i was wondering if i could follow up with you. i don't necessarily have to agree with someone that i support on everything.
i think that there are often times i don't even agree with some of the things i do. i want to keep an open mind. but i do want to hear your thoughts on this issue of the taxi industry, and you have produce strong comments from taxi drivers, and i am wondering if you have any thoughts on that. i certainly want to make sure that even if there are differences of opinion, you have the industry understand that they are being heard that their concerns are being addressed. >> i have known the p.m., some of the others that spoke for a long time now. they worked very closely on some of the proposals we have, and i
and appreciate his input all the time. i know these folks well, i listened to them all the time. i don't always agree to the specific issue with them as i am glad you feel i was with you try to tell them where i am coming from and not give them a rosy picture so that they think i'm going to agree with them. i realize that the province of proposition they don't agree with me. i think it is an outdated system that we need to move on, it allows us to better serve the needs of our customers, more directly regulate the needs of customers, and protections for drivers, allow us to move forward in a way that will create revenue for the mta to better serve the public generally. i think what you're hearing is concerned, and it is not